tv Lectures in History CSPAN September 20, 2014 8:00pm-9:48pm EDT
i understood how important it was and what it played in international history. if plattsburgh had been lost, god knows what would've happened to this country. >> each week american history tv sits in on a lecture with one of college professors. you can watch the classes every saturday evening at 8 p.m. admin i used them. next oregon state university professor marisa chappell talked about anti-poverty and entitlement programs that were part of president johnson's "war on poverty." she also detailed the societal attitudes toward impoverished minorities at the time, focusing specifically on
the challenges faced by single mothers. this class is about an hour and 45 minutes. >> so, today we're talking about the war on poverty, and the urban crisis in the late 1960s in the united states. and we're looking at the ways in which the black freedom movement raised the issues of poverty, and of racial disadvantage. really to a level of national attention, and national action that we haven't really seen at any time since. so i want to start just by -- well, first i should lead you through the outline quickly. we'll talk about the ways in which americans at the time thought about black poverty. how did they interpret it. what causes did they think about. and then, what solutions, therefore, did they turn to. so we'll talk about designing a war on poverty. the choices that the federal government made when the johnson administration announced that it was going to wage a war on poverty. and then we'll talk a little bit about the so-called riots that occurred each summer
in the late 1960's in african-american communities. in cities. and the ways in which discussions about those really reflected different attitudes about racial disadvantage. and then finally, we'll discuss imagining alternatives. so some of the ways in which activists offered their own ideas about what might help overcome racial disadvantage and poverty. and i have here a quote from a. phillip randolph, freedom from oppression is and a necessary component to freedom from political oppression. we've seen this throughout, right, that economic demands, demands for economic opportunity and economic security have been really important to the black freedom struggle, and so we're going to see them kind of
reappear here in significant form. so let me show you a couple of slides. these are statistics from the census. and here we have a comparison of white and black poverty in 1959 and 1968. not a hard graph to interpret. what do you see? cara? >> in 1968, poverty had declined a lot. but still black poverty is a lot higher than white poverty. and it's still probably like that today. so there was change, but it wasn't -- they're not equal. >> yes. so we see progress for both groups over this time. but as you say, we continue to see a disparity. any other comments on this graph? all right. i want to show you a little more detail here. and i want you to tell me what you see in this graph. pedro?
>> so, for -- you can tell with gender, there's a disparity where the poverty is, even among races. but with black females, they're among the most highest. well, actually -- yeah, among the most highest. they actually did decline slowly, but you can see even within race, there's also intersections within sex. so it sort of gives you a slight look at gender and how it intersects. >> the combined effects of race and gender on shaping economic opportunity and economic outcome, right? and i don't know if this is startling to you, but 1968, you can see still over 50% -- these are household headed by. so over 50% of households headed by african-american women were in poverty, or officially under the federal poverty line.
pauline? >> why is it that black women are more in poverty than any other, like, race or gender? >> that's a really great question. let's talk about it. what do you think? ashley? >> i think that it's a combination of probably -- well, probably lack of being able to find employment, being both a person of color and also a woman. so as you can see, like the white female in 1968 is on par with the black male. it's like a double whammy of discrimination. >> discrimination in the labor market. lack of access to well-paying jobs, both by sex and by race. and access to child care. a really good point. women's role in raising children, and the time and resources that that takes. other
thoughts? cara? >> well, also the time period is the same time that a lot of our articles we're talking about. so if it was like a single black woman, probably in poverty trying to raise a family, they were caught -- they weren't allowed aid to help raise their families. that's what's talked about in the articles that we read about, the struggle for them to receive government aid and the discrimination that they faced. >> right, the social safety net access. we'll talk a little bit more about that, review that in a few minutes. but remember, the social safety net was segmented. by race and by gender. >> i -- and by gender. >> >> i think to touch on what they both said, i think it was also like, it was cheaper for the access to child care, for women of color. it was like basically, you're not working -- you're working to pay for child care rather than just having money to, you know, cover your
household. most of it was going to child care. and not enough was going to the actual household. >> writes come up or people who even had access to paid childcare. black women were typically doing the paid child care for white women. we didn't have a proliferation of child care centers at the time. a lot of this had to be informal through kinship. difficult to arrange, absolutely. any other thoughts on this intersection of race and gender in terms of creating poverty? okay. so, i want you to keep these graphs in mind as we talk today. let's turn to the ways in which americans in the 1960s' framed the problem of black poverty. americans were talking about poverty more broadly in the early 1960s. but because as we've seen, we have this mass movement among african-americans, it's making black poverty particularly
visible. and we also see african-americans in cities really challenging the economic manifestations of racism, right? so this is very much in the public eye. so let's look at daniel moynahan. so moynahan is a social scientist. he is a racial liberal. think back to our discussion of racial liberalism. he is secretary of labor in the johnson administration. he's a key policy maker among the federal officials who are determining what the federal government's response would be to poverty. and you read a short excerpt from a report he wrote called the negro family, a case for national action. this was a report meant for internal eyes, to convince other policy makers and president
johnson of the problem. and except that it was leaked. and it was made public. and so let's talk about what moynahan has to say about black poverty in 1965. cara? >> well, it talks about stuff we've learned about in other alesses, about how black m are oppressed through history. they do not have traditional roles like they did, strong father figures, so it talks about how that creates an unstable environment. i do not know how i personally felt about this article. i thought it was a little messed up and a little sexist. only one. not the thank you, other comments? what sort of language does moynahan use to describe the problem? >> deterioration of the family.
>> deterioration of the family, yep. other phrases? >> a quote that kind of stuck out. as jobs became more and more difficult to find, the stability of the family became more and more difficult to maintain. >> yeah. and stability of family, right? a good phrase there. as jobs for who became more and more difficult to find? african-americans. which african-americans? >> males. >> males, right. the stability of the family. a stable family here is a male breadwinner family, right? and so this causes a number of problems. if black men can't find jobs, what are the problems that this causes, according to moynahan?
scott? >> the female has to become the moneymaker. >> yes. >> it says a fundamental fact of negro american life is often reversed roles of husband and wife. >> yes. so if the woman is doing the earning, somehow the family -- the roles are reversed and the family is an unstable family. and it leads to -- did anybody get the language of a matriarchal family structure, right? so that's deemed here a damaged family. right? so if the father's around, he's psychologically damaged, because he can't fulfill the role that men are supposed to fulfill in society as being the family breadwinner. so he's psychologically damaged. the availability of welfare benefits, which we'll talk a lot about later, also creates a problem, and contributes to the matriarchal family structure, according to moynahan.
how does that happen? we have this program aid to dependent children. ashley? >> i know it came up in the reading last week about how sometimes, like fathers would, like, step out of the picture so that the family could qualify for that aid. and then so then that would leave it to be a female head of household. >> that's right. so it's both that the man is psychologically damaged because he can't be a family breadwinner, so the mother becomes the breadwinner, and the man might actually leave, he might desert his family so that his children can be fed. right? through access to welfare benefits. keep that in mind, because that becomes a key argument against social welfare measures, right? that it's causing -- now it's welfare, right? he's saying it's job
discrimination, but it's a short trip to saying the availability of welfare for mothers is creating damaged families, right? okay. so moynahan says that initially, the problem is black men's inability to be breadwinners. but that this problem could become self-perpetuating. right? and that's an important part of his analysis, too. so moynahan here is really -- well, i have one more question based on moynahan. we watched "a raisin in the sun." cara's jumping ahead. >> i made some notes about's raisin in the sun" when i was readsing the article, how the grandma was this really strong, like, woman in the family who controls everything. you could see the son who was the dad trying to break out of that control, and find his own
power in life. and be like the man of the family. i was thinking about that when i was reading it. >> yeah. other comments on that, the film? pedro? >> i think something that she mentioned was like, what would your father do? the connections back to his father, so the expectations of actually heading their household household, because it seemed like she was the head of the household but she wanted him to take ownership of the household and sort of be head of the household like his father was. it seemed like he was lost. and he didn't know what to do. the expectations, and him either fulfilling the expectations or just leaving the picture. especially with the one where, i was a little confused, i don't know if he was supposed to tell his wife to not have an abortion? >> right. his mother was saying,
tell her, right? and he didn't. and he -- yeah, he's clearly struggling. he's just in pain this whole time. yeah, pauline? >> i feel like the son had an issue -- well, like the son and the mother had issues. because they saw it differently. the man that she expected him to be is not the man he wanted to be. it was just the man she expects him to be. it was like she wanted him to mirror the -- like his father. but at the same hand, he wasn't his father. and like that idea of, like, them coming, like migrating, is completely different from the lifestyle that they were actually living. >> right. it's an interesting generational discussion, too, right? because the mother and father had migrated from the south to chicago. and so their expectations were shaped by that migration. and then their son was born in chicago, in the getto, right? and so his expectations are different than theirs. and he feels -- yeah, he feels this tension about the role that his father played.
a few of you were able to see the whole film. does he -- how does it end? does he become the man that his mother wants him to be? latrice? >> i think he stands up for him. he almost sees what his mother is saying. like i want you to be your father. i think she meant that morally, like he would have stood up for us, not let the white people push us around. i think he got that gist at the end where he acted on impulse and called that back over to sell the house. and then the more he was out there, he thought about, no, my son's right in front of me. i can't let him see me bow down to them. because i don't want him to be that way. i think he starts to understands why his mother wanted him to be up to those expectations, because he has a little boy looking up to him. him standing up for himself at the end, i think that made his mom proud. and that is why she kind of conceited at the end, what do you have to say? he's the head of the family, it's him now. it
showed that he did end up being like his father like she wanted him to, but then again, he took his own stance. >> the way that he sort of came into his manhood, he was chasing this dream of a liquor store and business ownership, right? but the way he comes into his manhood is by challenging racism. right? challenging discrimination, and saying, no, we're not going to take it. we're going to move into that suburb. so similar themes here from lorraine hansberry, where she's an african-american activist. she's on the left. moynahan's a racial liberal. and here what we see is what the historian darrell michael scott has called the politics of pathology. i want you to think about that for a minute. what was the argument that swayed earl warren and the
supreme court in the brown versus board of education case? cara? >> wasn't it the dolls? >> the dolls? which proved what? >> which proved that black children preferred the white dolls over the ones that looked more like them. so it showed some kind of deep-seeded, like self-hating kind of thing and moved the court. that is interesting. because that's not -- i don't know what else to say. >> i think maybe what's going on there is, is there a problem with this kind of an argument. we'll definitely get there, right? but you see the politics, the pathology playing out in brown versus board of education. what's wrong with racism and discrimination and segregation is it has a damaging psychological effect on african-americans. >> i remember what i was going to say. it doesn't show the -- like what caused the racism, and the bigger problem of like institutions that are keeping it
in place. it's just showing racism is bad, they don't like themselves, we need to fix this, schools should be integrated. but it doesn't open the blight on the real issues, that needed massive government change and stuff like that. >> for some racial liberals, the hope was that by emphasizing this damage that racism and segregation did to african-americans, that would mobilize government action. so in other words, they're using this politics of pathology to try to get liberal measures in place, right? to try to push for equal opportunity, to try to push for jobs programs, et cetera. as we see, it's a problematic kind of an argument. so moynahan's drawing on this framework then, as i said. remember that the post-war
period is also a period where psychology is really popular. people think in psychological terms, and so it makes sense that this kind of argument is being made. we see this across the spectrum. charles silverman, crisis in black and white, he's a journalist, the disorganization of the family is reflected in the disorganization of negro life as well. absence of the inner strength and self-discipline necessary, if one is to be the master rather than the servant of his environment, in a competitive society. so the damage imagery, very, very often relies on a certain gender and family structure, right? the damage to the family, the damage to the man that creates damage to the family. so you see racial liberals, social scientists, black and white, writing about this, making these arguments about family structure, and about pathology. many of them, again, we're
hoping that this would convince the government to institute fixes to economic discrimination, that would enable african-americans to reestablish a patriarchal family structure, which would then have their children not become criminals, right, and damaged and perpetuate this cycle. so racial liberals then are using damage imagery to promote government intervention to address african-american economic disadvantage. one other framework for thinking about black poverty in the 1960s, and it's related to this politics of pathology, is the idea of culture of poverty. this idea of a culture of poverty comes most explicitly from anthropologist oscar lewis. and lewis wrote a book, initially he was writing about a mexican family in a small village in mexico. and what he argued in this book is that the poverty that this
family had lived in for generations had created a pathological culture. or a culture of poverty. so that these poor people had different values, a different way of living than nonpoor people did. he had a list of 50 different characteristics. they were things like tendency toward violence and inability to defer gratification and all of these sort of negative values that got passed on generation to generation, right? so again, even if you argue as lewis did that the origination of the problem was being kept out of opportunity, he's arguing again that this culture becomes self perpetuating. so what causes children to be poor, it's the culture of their families and communities that causes them to be poor. he wrote then a book about a port ee
family in sancan juan in new york about a culture of pourty. this was challenged by a lot of social scientists who did a lot of research to see if there was really a culture of poverty. even though it was challenged quite robustly, the idea was really widespread. it became important to the ways in which federal policy makers designed programs to overcome poverty. so it's cultural characteristics rather than what karra is pointing to what hamilton would call institutional racisms, the structures we've discussed creating these economic problems. amidst the debate in the 1950s and 60s when americans thought about poverty and thought about a lower class, they increasingly envisioned african-americans. nathan glazer put it this way in
1963, he said terms such as cultural deprived and disadvantaged, quote, are only euphemisms for the negro child. president kennedy was thinking about federal anti-poverty programs, he was thinking of whites in appalachia. this certainly became part of the approach. if you were a federal anti-poverty planner, an aide to president johnson and he comes to you and says, what should we do to fix poverty in general and particular?y in
what would you advise? >> having representatives from the actual poor populations say what they need for their specific communities rather than massive government things that don't exactly know the specific problems for certain areas so having the voice of the poor. that's is what was talked about in one of the articles -- actually the bigger articles how the big programs by johnson didn't -- the voices of the actual people who the programs are going to affect weren't even heard at all so i think that would be a really good strategy to go about fixing these issues. see what they actually need themselves. >> ok. let them design their own approaches. >> with help. with the aid like the money and the funding to come with that. >> ok. other ideas? how do we stop poverty, fix
poverty? scott? >> equal education. >> ok. >> setting the bar for other people so they can get a good education and jobs and providing opportunities. >> ok. so there's not equal education at this time, right? what are the inequalities in education in the mid-1960's? >> there's a lack of quality in education like the schools are run down, don't have enough staff. some of them -- i think i read somewhere that they don't even have a high school for some african-americans. that's a key part in education so i think -- yeah. >> yeah. so it's clear there's plenty of evidence, right, that separate was not equal. separate was very unequal. not only in the south which had had legislative segregation, but also because of the metropolitan
development outside of the south. pedro? >> so giving communities the necessary money and giving it to them so they can do it they need to, and give it to the direct community and them deciding what they need to do and then going with the education for some students if they -- i guess they don't have the necessary food they are not actually -- you know if they are not healthy or -- if they don't even have a morning -- like a breakfast how are they supposed to function throughout the day? so having access to nutritious food. >> -- nutritious food. >> uh-huh. okay. so some kind of program of food assistance. pauline? >> i would also say finding representatives who would work with them. students if they -- i even if you gave them everything they need, they are not going to
know. they still need that leadership. so someone is there to help them through it all and they are not just on their own. >> ok. rose? a continuation of helping the programs i'm going back and evaluating ok, what should we change? rights, they are doing letting themst kind of planning all of this -- putting so much work into it and then like, oh, it didn't work and just not even doing anything about it. >> yeah.
caro, ashley, and pauline. >> i think what was discussed in the black power article about an emergence of a new middle class so in skilled positions like -- to have more training, more entrance level positions. i think it makes sense. >> all right. ashley? >> mine was about job training, too. we got of the models from our paper. they talked about how job-training was one of the most promoteul ways to mobility and communities. teaching them valuable job just pushingd of them out of the conveyor belt of high school. >> so, good education and job
training combined. .eah pedro? oh, pauline, then pedro. >> i was thinking -- i remember -- i forgot the other. >> sncc? >> yeah. they should be together -- a governmentss of issue though. united movement. ok. pedro. >> the job-training, the lap of just is for them, so it is tying all of these things
together so, if they have a program, it is run by the , againty members stressing the job-training and making sure that they are trained to the highest level so they can run their program at the highest level. >> ok. scott? >> isn't that what the cdgm was doing or -- >> the community development group of mississippi. >> yeah. that was pretty cool. >> yeah, it sort of embodies -- i'm guessing it influenced some of your answers, right? that notion of maximum feasible participation and that sort of thing. yes. >> so kind of going along with like equal education and job training would be like equal job opportunity because like we talked about before even like black people who have the
highest education all they can do is be a teacher basically. so if they could have like more job opportunities then they would have better jobs that they could actually have instead of being a teacher. >> a particular issue for racial minorities, right? 64 we got a prohibition on racial discrimination in employment, but it takes a long time for enforcement, right? so opening up access. >> i think a lot of these things have to be kind of implemented by the law so kind of put in that law system because in the mlk article he talks about how the prime minister of india and in the similar problem they have with the untouchables and how most of the things it is like -- the indian constitution specified that discrimination against untouchables is a crime punishable by imprisonment. through that, they develop housing and job opportunities in villages heavily inhabited by
untouchables, so this system isn't just something they create but it's also implement in a reinforced through law. >> yeah. yeah. i mean king has very particular ideas about what kind of law but definitely enforcement of anti-discrimination, but also more government assistance, right, in terms of building communities. yeah. any other thoughts on how you would solve poverty. rose. >> one i think we missed is housing and some equal chances with that and not having such segregated neighborhoods because then they would call those slums with the crime rate and everything and just equal chances for the housing. briefly -- let's this is a really good point. let's briefly recall some of the processes that he told us about
in american babylon about metro -- metropolitan development and how it was that african-americans in oakland sort of got stuck in poor inner city neighborhoods. latrice. >> well, i remember from those readings that they started making policies. as they expanded and took jobs out of certain areas and put them in others, along with that came more expensive housing and they kind of went through loopholes to exclude african-americans so they would destroy an african majority house setting and put something more expensive there so they were all forced to move because they couldn't afford it and that kind of kept them in their own pockets and that had a lot to deal with it. the housing policies that they made that wouldn't allow black people to live in their homes and the things put in the deeds contributed a lot too. keeping them in the slums they were kept
into. >> so racial covenants keeping them. slums, destroying affordable housing. >> like what she was talking about, we read before in one of the articles if they had white tenants that they had to pay like they would make them -- they would make the rent way too high for them to pay for so i guess just like fixing that somehow, i guess. >> yeah. african-americans ended up paying more for housing. they did not have access because of red lining because of fha policies and private lender policies did not have access to the credit that allowed a whole working-class americans
to access single-family housing in the suburbs which allow them to have wealth accumulation, etc.. >> i think another big thing ofut why all were afraid black people moving into their neighborhoods. also, how they would bring in black families to scare the neighborhood. >> blockbusting. >> yeah. it's ridiculous. i think fear controlled a lot of that, too. people just like were afraid of what they didn't understand and weren't accepting of that. >> the fear that property values are going to go down. a self-fulfilling prophecy here that property values will go down if african-americans move into your neighborhood. >> the other side of that fear from the black perspective. there was a lot of violence against african-americans when they wanted to move out of their neighborhoods that they were forced into from violence historically when there was the
massive waves of migration when they were freed from slavery. first of all the factories were in the cities. so first that moved them into inner cities and then when blacks -- when that became very populated when people wanted to expand there was riots and bombings and so many incentives to stay with your tight knit community rather than move out. so that kept -- i forgot what the original question we were answering but it kept people in the cities. that's what we were talking about, right? [laughter] >> yes. >> ok. >> so many people were talking. >> kind of based off of what fear thing on a different topic. fear had a big play in larger organizations. like in amy jordan's thing, the oeo, they were providing all of these funds and they got scared by the politics of it that they started giving the money that they were giving to other more federally funded programs so they could be
on the good side of the politics and i think fear played a big role in the types of assistance they got because the people ahead of those programs were scared to give them the money because they were afraid they were going to get the black lash of it. i think that played a huge role in keeping blacks in poverty. >> -- in poverty. >> so, politics. we'll talk about those articles a little more later. so let's now we've talked about some of the reasons that african-americans had higher rates of poverty. you've offered some suggestions for how you might approach the problem. let's think about what the johnson administration did and if they took your advice. so designing a war on poverty. lyndon johnson in 1964 in his state of the union address declares this war on poverty.
hes says many americans live on the outskirts of hope some because of their poverty and some because of their color and all too many because of both. so he's drawing the things together for us. our task is to replace their despair with opportunity. the administration today and now declares an unconditional war on poverty today in america. expectations, right? wow. you're going to eliminate poverty. this martial rhetoric. it sounds like you're really going to go at it. so, job training. what if there aren't jobs there? >> create them? >> job creation. this was one answer. yes. many african-americans and those on the left argued for. within the johnson administration
secretary of labor willard werts proposed this. z proposed this. he said the poverty program must immediately start out on the emphasis of employment to provide the head of the house with a decent paid job. during the great depression, the federal government had public works and built all of this wonderful infrastructure and employed people. a lot of people were calling for a renewal of public job creation. wirtz proposed this idea in a meeting with the president, he recalled i have , never seen a colder reception from the president. job creation is very expensive. it's politically difficult because then you're seen as competing with private industry and so private industry doesn't like it. johnson wants to get rid of
poverty but he's not going to go that far, ok? another solution to poverty which nobody offered is if somebody is poor, what do they need? >> money. >> money. they need money, right? some people work and are poor even if they have a job, right? so a lot of activists and many liberals, many racial liberals by the late 60s were calling for a guaranteed income, right? is -- that the government should make sure nobody falls below a certain level of poverty. so a guaranteed income. robert lanmon of the council of economic advisers were johnson said probably an acceptable program must completely avoid inequality and redistribution of wealth and a guaranteed income did not have popular support, right? the idea -- what would be arguments against a guaranteed income?
[laughter] >> the redistribution of income or wealth that seems very communist. >> yeah. >> so the idea of being called a communist when you're trying to fight it. >> absolutely. we are still in a cold war at this point. definitely. >> it kind of takes away their incentives to work for it if they don't have to work for it and they just get money from the government. >> long-standing worry that you will erode the work ethic. people are naturally lazy. if you just give them an income they are not going to have any incentive to work for it. yeah. did you have a response? >> yeah. i was going to say something. they are going to be really dependent on the guaranteed income and not feel likely to work. >> this idea of dependence and
then you'll have the taxpayers working so hard to pay lazy people not to work. how is that fair? >> that's what i was going to say. the government gets most of its money from taxes so wealthy people or hard working people may be less willing to give up their hard earned money in taxes for people. it's still an issue today whenever there's -- when people -- but it's still an issue today. that's all i know. >> absolutely. we saw about the kind of homeowner politics of taxpayers, the property tax issue became huge. yeah, latrice. >> mine is more a question. if we just gave everybody money wouldn't that lower the value of the u.s. dollar? um -- [laughter]
do we have an economics major in here? >> that's a serious question. you can't just give everybody money. then they'll go buy everything and then -- >> it's not one of the -- i've looked in my own research at this campaign to get a guaranteed income in the late 60s, early 70s. that's in fact not one of the arguments that i saw against it. there were a lot of arguments against it and i never saw that one. that's an interesting question. >> i'm not really an expert on this but i just learned about it in another class but it might be because of the economics at that time in america under brentonwoods, it was a different system so the u.s. dollar was really strong at that time anyways and was pegged directly to gold. i think that the economic issue probably didn't even cross their mind because it wasn't -- like america was so strong at that particular time in history, so -- >> i sort of can't think off the
top of my head -- remember that the social safety net was put in place not just because roosevelt and the new dealers didn't want people to starve. it was put into place because they have a keynesian idea of how to maintain economic growth. get money into people's hands so they can spend it. ashley. >> during this time was there an establishment of minimum wage? >> there was. the federal minimum wage was established in the 1930s with the fair labor standards act. remember when we talked about the social safety net we talked about some groups who were left out? >> the farm and domestic workers. >> yeah. >> so to fight poverty they could increase people's pay so maybe one person in the household is working they wouldn't be -- fall below poverty. that's an issue now.
even if you work full time for minimum wage you're still below poverty level. >> yeah so raise the minimum , wage. more government regulation of the labor market. make employers pay a certain wage. you know from contemporary politics there's all sorts of argument against it. it reduces employment but that's certainly one approach, too. all right. so if the johnson administration did not institute a guaranteed income, it did not create jobs. what did it do? it actually did some of the things you're talking about here. so the federal war on poverty included sort of three themes. one was there was some expansion of the social safety net. so two important health programs established in the 1960s, what are they? anybody know? medicare and medicaid, right? remember national universal held
health insurance. health care did not happen. it's falling victim to charges of socialized medicine, et cetera. it has too many enemies but we do get programs to provide federal aid for health care for two particular populations. medicaid targets the very poor and medicare targets the aged. we also get food assistance, food stamps. it's not a big program. it becomes bigger later. that's part of the expanding social safety net. we also get an expansion of social insurance so remember that under old age insurance and under unemployment insurance, a lot of groups were left out. slowly gradually, right, more groups are incorporated and the level of funding increases. that's not the heart of the war on poverty.
poverty. when we talk about the federal war on poverty, we usually mean the programs under the economic opportunity act of 1964 that the opposite economic opportunity somebody said oeo, opposite of economic opportunity, operated. those were focused on human capital development. it's not about fixing our economy, it's about fixing poor people, right? educate them. job training. get them the skills so they will be able to earn their way out of poverty. a hand up, not a hand out, right? that's the motto of the oeo. then community action which is its own sort of interesting -- you've read about this. it's an interesting thing. so i want to talk about the human capital development aspect for you here first for just a minute. well, hold on a minute. so we get job corp which was a residential job training program for young men disadvantaged
young men. we get head start, education, right? get poor children before they enter the school system so they'll have the skills before they get into the school system. upward bound work study for high school and college students. so programs focused on education and job skills for the poor. now, given the interpretation of black poverty in particular, who do you think these programs, particularly the job training targeted? >> blackmails? .- black males >> black males, right? targeted black men so just to give you a sense of that, the women's bureau of the federal government was pushing really hard for a women's job corps, too.
they are like women need to earn a living too. they finally got one but it was tiny compared to the men's job corp. it also promised to teach poor girls family responsibilities like how to be homemakers and how to be good wives and mothers. the job training offered by the war on poverty paralleled the sex segregated labor market so as one brochure offered job training for men as automechanic -- heavy equipment operator, women were offered training for secretary, hospital serviced, food services and coulds it's aide. nurses so, it is not surprising the job corps is built around the same poverty inck male particular. they rejected childcare. that was not part of this either. in fact, headstart was not at all about childcare, right? it was about this remedial
education. so the new york times editorialized while mothers compose the bulk of the well -- welfare population, it is the deserting father and social and economic conditions that influence him to desert so even as afdc roles increased and people were hysterical about a welfare crisis, then shouldn't -- if we can train black men so they can be breadwinners, that will take care of black women's poverty and black children's poverty because the families won't break up and they'll be supported. okay. king. let's go back to king for a moment and why we can't wait, 1963. he talked a little bit about this already. what does king offer as a solution to poverty.
-- poverty? >> i really liked this excerpt from his book because not only did he talk about african-americans and -- cause, you know, you think of poor black men and poverty. but he touches on were whites, a range of poverty in the united states and he suggests is a bill of the disadvantaged, so the same process of the disadvantaged, i just really liked reading this. he also mentions the urban .eague what does he suggest though. else talk somebody about it. it is interesting. >> what i thought was most interesting, he does not just
want an uprising of afro-americans. he wanted disadvantaged kids as a whole to uprise. he touched on the fact that you cannot just make it equal and expect us to be ok with that. of two men example starting at a race. a head 200 years of start. you cannot expect them to finish anywhere near the same. i thought that was a really good analogy, and how he talked about -- you have to not just give .hem opportunity you have to give them the ability to seize the opportunity. no can't say, oh, you have training. it did not just, arbitrarily. everything toe deal with the opportunity.
just want to talk about african-americans. he wanted to talk about a lot of -- everyone who was disadvantaged. i think that brought a lot of people on his side. you are speaking for everyone. i thought that was cool. >> it was politically a smart thing to do there. patrick and then rose. he was trying to come up with a solution to that bill of rights for the disadvantaged. kind of like the g.i. bill. maybe going to a trade school or university. they did not have the means to they on their own, so -- would have someone to help them. he said something where it would not be that big a burden on federal or state governments because, just like the g.i. bill where it is paid into by everybody and everybody can benefit from it. >> right.
rose and then cara. he related it to the indian structure. he was talking to the prime minister and someone was asking about discrimination. they would accept the untouchable, and he was wondering if that was discrimination. but it ishat may be, injustice correcting inflicted on these people. he realizes, yeah, we screwed up and we are trying to help fix it. but he is saying in the united states it is so different. they are saying, oh, it already happened like that is over like we should forget that part. and now you should try and be equals, but you can't put someone in a box and just let
them go and have them on their own and they do not know what to do. >> sure. >> i think the interesting thing first he islso -- taking a racial liberal perspective and he is talking about certainly the negro has been deprived, in addition to being a slave. i think he sets up a moral argument. obviously this is wrong. but he also kind of has more -- more like activism. and also when he is talking about what we can actually do, we can fix the whole system as a whole, in general. and just think that he has a combination of what we have been talking about and all of our other classes, in this riding at least. >> this may not be a king you recognize so much from our
popular narrative of king. >> i liked how he related it to the veterans and how they were so quick to give them opportunities and programs. you do not discriminate against someone because they can't walk. why would you do it because of the color of the skin? i think he did a good job of showing that relation. then it was kind of funny. he was talking about how these same people who fought for unions were trying to do the same things we were trying to do. i thought that was kind of funny. >> yeah. does he specifically call for? what is in the bill of rights for the disadvantaged? cara? >> first that there is an section. i really loved his social work section. interviewthrough an
process. just basic things that have been neglected in the past. just in general stuff that you might not know because you've never had a job interview. your parents have never gone to a job interview before or written a job application before so just basic social things. >> so a massive social services program, right? serious money into social services. yes, that's one piece of it. >> ashley. >> he seems to emphasize pretty heavily the job opportunities for people and he says that the african-americans don't want to live on wellfair that there's -- live on welfare, that there is no honor in that and that even when things are desegregated that they still don't have access to many of these institutions or even to go out to dinner because they don't make enough money. so in order for them to truly be equal, they need to open up a
lot of these opportunities to them. >> uh-huh. so enforcement of civil rights policies right? but beyond that not only this massive social work apparatus but full employment, job creation for all so nobody is poor. this is a pretty robust plan of federal investment in overcoming poverty. the mention of the untouchables and the mention of the g.i. bill the mention of the untouchables and the mention of the g.i. bill are ways for him to justify, yes it's for whites too but special treatment, right? compensatory treatment. he says we can't -- at the very beginning, he says it is impossible to create a formula for the future which does not take into account that our society has been doing something special against the negro for hundreds of years. how then can he be absorbed into
the mainstream of live if we do not do something for him now? so this is suggesting various forms of affirmative action to ensure even if it's special treatment and he uses the g.i. bill to say, you know, we compensated these veterans with education and training, right, and loans for homes and businesses, etc., because they were deprived for a few years as they went to fight for our country. well, african-americans have been deprived for way longer than that, right, so why don't we do that for them. scott. deprived for way longer than that, right, so why don't we do that for them. scott. >> so i also found d the wagner act and compared that you were allowed to organize as a labor group. >> uh-huh. >> he said law designed to operate in the fashion of the
wagner act may well be the answer to some of the problems of civil rights enforcements during the next decade. >> yeah. so this is 1963, you've seen some of the images of what's happening in 1963 in the south. so the federal government basically needs to be more proactive and say these folks have a right to organize and for the federal government to be on their side, right. >> yeah. >> king proposes the kill of rights tore the disadvantaged. so we've got the gi bill referred to now. now we've got the martial plan. the united states spent billions of dollars to rebuild europe after world war ii. why not spend billions of dollars to rebuild our cities which are crumbling. all of these plans wanted the federal government to spend billions of dollars,
redeveloping the cities, ensuring that everybody had a job at living wages, ensuring that everybody had an income and nobody lived in poverty. you can imagine too, that they participated in the same kind of rhetoric about racial poverty. racial discrimination has imm k imaskulated the negro man. >> the negro family can be reconstructed only when the negro male is permitted to be the economic and psychological head of the family. i want to stress that this is wide spread, right. very few people are saying isn't that sexist? a few people are but you can see how even civil rights leaders are sharing in that kind of discourse. okay. so we obviously don't get this
kind of approach to poverty. we get a much narrower one. we get some education and job training. >> i want one more comment. i think one reason why these really big government plans don't work or are hard to implement is because people are really akprooe hepprehensive ab government. our country was founded on a smaller central government. so i think when the federal government tries to implement these massive reaching changes plans it messes up the status quo and also worries people about massive big governments. >> there's definitely a way in which opponents of these kinds of programs tap into that ideal of small government, right? if you look practically, right, they weren't complaining about the fha and all of the loans that were going to build the suburbs. so it becomes visible in some
debates and it remains invisible in others. >> i think you made a good point when you said the fha because they have privileges and when there's a power struggle within different groups and one's privileges aren't necessarily seen as privileges for one group but when it's a wider privilege they are like hey, that's mine. >> it's my right. >> well it's my right and it's not for you. it's for us. so it's sort of that struggle. oh, we don't want this. we don't want the government to make it available for everybody. they want to make it really exclusive. >> yeah. it's also the way these programs are framed, right? social security or old age insurance isn't seen as part of the well fair state. i npaid into it. the vast majority get way more
than they paid into it. it's part of the well fair system but it's not framed that way. it's not viewed that way. so much more modest war on poverty we get. programs under the office of economic opportunity never made more than 1.5% of the federal budget. is that really a war on poverty. i want to turn now to community action which is this very interesting program of offering federal funds to local organizations, nonprofits, and governments to develop programs to fight poverty on a local level. they were supposed to be implemented with maximum feasible participation of the people to be served. now, initially what they thought that meant, the policy makers meant by that is that they didn't want blacks for excluded, right? but people on the ground give it a much more militant meaning in saying in that poor people had to be represented in designing
and implementing these programs. so community action funds all over the country, you read about two of these programs and sort of their political fate. you've read about the child development group of mississippi which amy jordan writes about and the self-help housing group in baltimore which ronda williams writes about. let's talk about those for a few minutes. amy jordan. what is the child development group of mississippi and how does it reflect community action? >> it was probably my favorite article to read. amy jordan's article. i think there's so much emphasis on the negro mail. we see the grafts and quotes and everything removes from the negro mail. i think everything in this program give african-american women their voices because these little centers were run locally
by locals for locals. you didn't have a lot of outside influence. i thought that was really cool they were able to come in and they don't have to be qualified for a teacher. they don't have to have extensive education that's in these segregated schools. i think they made a point to be essentially the opposite because they wanted to show them they are doing it wrong and here is how it's supposed to work. so i think it really made people want to be involved in it. so there was a ton of involvement in creating and building and being apart of it. it give women their own way to express themselves and at the same time they were able to bring in money for their families. i think it really changed a lot in their communities. i think it was almost more beneficial for the african-american women because you can tell the difference it made in the women in their ability to express themselves in the way they wanted to. they felt a sense of pride that
they were able to contribute and do all of this but i thought it was really cool. >> yeah. it's a head start program so it's in this kind of human capital development but it unexpectedly on the ground through community action ends up empowering local people to see we can design an education system that's different from the segregated mississippi system and we can run it and we don't to have to be these experts, right, we are experts essentially. >> another thing i thought was really cool about the head start was that there was an emphasis on parent involvement and like if the parents had any concerns they are like well, come in and teach with us and i think it was a good way for them to feel like they are really investing in their children and it was like empowering for them. they felt like they were giving their kids really good start in life. i think that was a struggle for a lot of people because being poor and everything it's like
you don't have a lot to offer your children especially when they are that young and aren't in public school yet so like, yeah. >> yeah. any other necomments or thought on amy jordon? why did the white power structure in mississippi target the child development group of mississippi, right. the clan didn't like it. the building was vandalized. people were threatened. if you send your kid to this program as opposed to the public preschool, bad things will happen. latrice. >> i know in the article it talks about how a lot of the parents and people who were0l÷ì% the opportunity to expand their own education and with that came the knowledge of the programs and the things that were being ran in mississippi that maybe they weren't so aware of beforehand so it also gave them incentive to take action against it and so i think the uprising of that, the fact that they wanted to be involved in higher than just this head start thing is like
their hold up -- you know, no, no, no. that's where the back lash came from was the fact that they didn't want these african-american women and people who were once, you know, uneducated now they are becoming more educated. they didn't want them to partake in it. i think a lot of the lack lash came from that. i think that's why the oeo took money away from them because they came under a lot of pressure. i think that had a lot to do with t with the lack bash of that. >> a lot of these federal programs were optional for states. so a state would say we're not going to do food stamps and activists on the ground would push really hard and say yes, you are. we feed food stamps. so absolutely more access to a social net. what's the connection between
cdgm and segregation? latrice again. >> i was just reading on it. i know that they started like a petition that demanded the desegregation of it and right after that, they sued them and then that is ultimately how they desegregated schools. other communities around them started going okay, we'll desegregate. it kind of was like that little spark that made everything go around and that kind of was the jump start to desegregation around them. >> i love that stat where all of the kids who were the first desegregators were kids who had been at cdgm, right? so those families. it could be self selection but also something about that involvement in the group. so this is an example of absolutely unintended consequences. the federal government thought -- the johnson administration thought well, we'll give some funds to kind of local people and they'll have a service center, right, where
they can tell people where they can get benefits or whatever. they'll do a little job training program. here we have federal money going in to a group that not only empowers poor african-americans in mississippi but empowers them to begin challenging local officials so you can imagine state and local officials calling democrats calling the johnson administration, hey, wait a minute. there's the political pressure, right? all right, let's turn to ronda williams and the case in baltimore. cara and patrick. >> i thought this article was interesting because baltimore is a northern city. >> border state but did. >> it's in maryland. i guess. anyways so basically the gist of this article is you have johnson's community action program going into baltimore and setting up social -- all of the stuff that it's setting up and you have the activists in the city saying like hey, we have
our own thing that's we want to add to this plan that the poor actually want from their communities and they didn't just let johnson's program come in and take over. this group formed in 1965, i don't know if it formed in 1965 but baltimore's union for jobs or income now so it's called u join. that kind of brought the poor people together in their neighborhood look a grass root's movement to actually fight tore wh what they really wanted in this program to do instead of what we were talking about before. money coming in to do some basic good. they actually wanted full rounded changes. >> great. political representation, right? this little federal money coming into the community provides a focus. it provides the resources necessary for organizing that
really ramps up some of the economic conflict that's going on in these cities, patrick. >> i always thought that when they finally started trying to get that representation more for the poor for their own communities and the city wide thing that they started to have self help housing programs. it seemed like it was almost immediately taken up by the city council and they tried to put restrictions on them and it went from a community based organization that was going to help their own neighborhoods and community within the city to get into the bigger city council where they started telling them that they can't -- i can't remember the specifics but there were a lot of restrictions where they couldn't do what they wanted to do within their community so just on the a bigger scale within a little city you have this community control being taken over by a bigger government controlled group. >> yeah. rose. >> also it says the baltimore
chapter of the naacp they kind of stepped in and they were like, oh, why didn't you consult -- the city's plan for action had not consulted black leaders, social workers or civil rights or neighborhood organizations and that is including the poor people. so they weren't even really going to the root of the problem essentially. i feel like they could have done a lot better with talking to people and kind of getting more of the fuller picture. >> uh-huh. okay. >> i feel like johnson's government program that he set almost started a snow ball affect in all of these cities and towns that was being implemented in with the self help housing program what patrick was talking about how it went to the higher city councils you have the formation of neighborhood housing action committee and once they see it
is affective in some areas. other groups are getting together and they are actually standing up for their own rights -- they are allowed to asenl and say what they want to say so they are actually doing it. so it's a snow ball affect so a little bit of money is giving them hope oh, we can actually do what we want with this now. when it's taken away from them again they will actually stand up because they feel like they have government backing this time even though they actually don't. it's kind of like a hope. >> it's empowering for them, right? and the charges that are used to limit their political representation, limit their ability to run these programs, fraud, mismanagement, how can people who can't even earn a living run a federal program, right? when these programs were quite successful. this will be repeated over and over throughout ever since. charges of fraud, charge
mismanagement to undermine democratic participation here of poor people. yeah. >> all right so any other comments on ronda williams or amy jordon? so i want to talk for a minute -- heading back to amy jordan for african-americans in the south, i think amy jordan really makes the point that the war on poverty was part of the civil rights movement for them, right? economic empowerment, the ability to run their communities. it was also part of a stand that we're going to stay here and we have a right to live in our communities and to the starve because with civil rights activism, you get this movement among white elites in the south who were trying to encourage outmigration. they wanted african-americans -- we don't need them anymore on the plantations. we want them to leave. an example here is is this man,
a lawyer whose last name was luckett who was on an anti-poverty board in mississippi and the resigned. the federal report is that he believes the solution to the race problem in the south is the outmigration of niegros. he thinks the real purpose of oeo is to interfere with the normal laws of supply and demand and to negate the outmigration of negros from the delta. mississippi senator john stenas and georgia senator richard russell actually proposed the creation of a voluntary racial relocation commission. this would be a federal body that would encourage what they called equitable distribution ever black residence throughout the nation, right? so we're tired of being challenged on race just get them out of here. one application to the oeo from
an african-american poor person in the south i think expresses the counter to that. some people who were evicted have left the county she said and have gone to other areas of the state. yet others have elected to stay in the county and help solve the problems of their native land. these people deserve the right to be given a chance to be productive citizens of their choosing. it's almost a right to be here and not have to go somewhere else. so that's one facet in the south of the war on poverty. the challenges that community action face though made it particularly vulnerable as we've seen. democratic mayors and governors and congress people very angry that federal funds are being used to challenge state and local governments. johnson agreed with them. community action was very often implicated with civil rights
activism. johnson said the rat browns dh. rat brown, we haven't talked about him be the martin luther king s and all of them are products of community action. that's where he get tthey get t. we finance all of them. notice here linking black power folks with martin luther king to community action. so johnson is to fan. he wants to get rid of community action. in 1967 there are all kinds of restrictions placed on it that it allow local governments to take more control of it. another thing that's linked to community action is the so called riots that occurred beginning in harlem in 1964, 1965, 1967, 1968.
outbreaks of violence throughout the country. you read the introtucdurks tctie turner report. this was after the detroit riot was a particularly big one. five days. 41 dead after the detroit riot. there were 163 riots during the summer of 1967. johnson put together this panel to investigate and come up with an explanation so we're moving now to interpreting urban uprisings. so what is the colonel commission. this commission by the way is chaired by the governor of illinois and has members from both parties on it and has a labor official and member of the naacp. it's a real blue ribbon panel. what did they have to say. >> i thought it was interesting. white tuinstitutions created it
white society condones it talking about the violence that occurred. >> they are talking about the ghetto. >> yeah. but that's where the riots occurred. so they are saying that white institutions created it. they maintain it. they keep that status quo. i thought it's interesting that they basically define institutional racism in this report so it's pretty blatant that it's there. i don't really know why nothing was fully done about it. >> yeah. johnson actually shoved this report. he was not happy with this report. scott. >> this was a short quote that kind of stood out to me. he said this is our basic conclusion. our nation is moving toward two societies, one black, one white, separate and unequal. >> yeah. now this is 1967, right? the report comes out in 1968
we've had a civil rights act past, federal housing act past and yet we are here moving into two separate and unequal soci y societi societies. institutional racism, the whole process of metropolitan development. i mean it's interesting to hear this federal commission actually, you know? we learned about the concept of institutional racism by reading black power and here is a federal panel. yes. >> okay. the kerner commission therefore, here is some pictures of the rite o riots just to give you a sense. this is from the detroit riot of 1967. institutional racism relative deprivation and frustrated expectations. african-americans growing up in an affluent society in the civil rights age who don't see things changi changing. they go to bad schools and live
in poor neighborhoods so it's an ut bre outbreak of frustration is how the kerner panel explains it. how would carmichael interpret it. >> they are talking about how this has been implemented -- there's no actual changes that have really come from this movement. societal change. it can't be the acts that are passed. there needs to be some actual action. this article focused more on different. >> i'm thinking about their use of the colonial metaphor to describe the ghetto. so certainly they would target
institutional racism but for them, this is a political -- it's not just people are frustrated and angry, this is a political rebellion, right? you can hear this in different language people use to describe the uprising. is a riot, criminality or is it a rebellion, a political act. this is how they would see it. a colonial population attacking the sources of exploitation. in the riots, typically the property that was damaged is property owned by nonblacks so they are targeting that notion of exploitation in their community. >> also there's a good chance that the media highlighted on more of the worst parts of it in pretty much every other story and it affects how other people see -- that don't live there. they are not there first hand. mostly what they get is on the news like the radio and a lot of
white people control the media and the other side of the media is just like the black power movement but then the other white people see just this one vision of riots and just shedding the worst light on the black people who really just want change. >> that's a really astute comment. here is the most common explanation, right? it's a culture of poverty. these are young men growing up without father figures who end up being delinquents and criminals. you can see that that couple of quotations i have for you. the wall street journal in 1964. family live break down in negro slums sows seeds of race
violence. husbandless homes spawn hoodlums sowsiologists say. the culture of poverty that results from male unemployment and family break up generates a system of ruthless exploititive relationships within the ghetto so yes, the more common explanation as rose suggests is that it's criminality. the answer is not massive programs to rebuild the ghetto or open opportunity. the answer is law and order. in fact the crime bill in 1968 gave a wind fall to local police to maintain order in the ghetto. all right. so imagining alternatives. alternatives to the federal government's focus on human capital development. we talked about one alternative already which was keying and the
urban league and the freedom budget, right? massive investment. we will talk about two others. one is the emerge of a well fair rights movement. the other is king's last vision before he was assassinated which is the poor people's campaign. then a third one is the black power perspective from tury and hamilton. we will see if we can get through all of this. so remember the segmented well fair state. let me wipe this off. we've alluded to this here a little bit but in the social security act of 1965 that set up the structure of the american well fair state, we have on the one side social insurance that would be old age, what we call social security now. old age insurance and
unemployment insurance. remember a lot of groups are left out of this most denominatedenominat predominately agricultural workers, domestic workers. on the other side we have public assistance which are the programs that come to be known as well fair and they target certain groups not expected to be in the labor force and the most controversial and largest is aide to dependent children. you can see here from the social security board very early on a very positive view on this program so that dependent children can grow up in their own families. the federal and governments provide cash allowances more children will have chances to live normal wholesome lives in their own homes. the discrepancy is white widows. as white widows get folded in
here we add survivors here and women who are widows who had been married to a covered insured male through this system can get funded this way leaving adc to unmarried mothers and minorities and the poor who don't have access to this. so over the post war period the population of adca, fdc shifts. the image of it becomes much less positive, right? so let's look at a couple of documents that you read. you read two that involve adc in particular. one is the urban league of new orleans which is responding to what they see as a crisis in louisiana in 1960. the other is the advocate for well fair. this is elizabeth wickenden who's proposing a certain response to these programs. so what did you read? what's happening in louisiana in
1960? joseph. >> they are going to pass a bill or a few bills that would say that if a child was going to receive money it had to be in a suitable home so all homes without -- with single parents or parents not working they would be left out of the bill. the document was arguing that it was backed by racial standards or racial -- i guess standards. >> yeah. so the suitable home provision really said that if the household has an illegitimate child, a child born out of wed lock then it's considered an unsuitable home and not eligible for aid. 23,000 children are knocked off.
>> what really stands ou at and think is important is that they say the urban league said there was public inaction. no one was doing anything about this. it seems pretty blatantly messed up just from any perspective. i mean there's definitely white people who have illegitimate children, i'm sure. >> the rates were actually growing faster for whites but many white families, you'd give it up for adoption, it's a whole other system. yeah. >> right so the press barely played any attention to it so the urban league was trying to get the press to shed some light on this. they actually ended up getting attention from international -- >> british women. >> other people around the world but it's kind of surprising it shows institutional racism at the time where the big massive -- the press, the government, other people were kind of ignoring this starving children.
>> there is so much sexism and racism. what is it? league, i am glad they caught it and were like, why is no one talking about this because it is so wrong? . they see how long it is people would pass -- they see how wrong it is. people would pass it over like they are a bunch of prostitutes instead of blaming them for the problems they have inflicted. >> the fact the urban league
response is a bit unusual because most civil rights organizations kept their distance from welfare problems. would try think they to distance themselves? >> it is a touchy subject. aret of civil rights groups trying to work with the government to get the government on their side. why would they want to battle government programs and stuff like that? it is kind of a risky move. they are trying to save face. >> other thoughts? rose. >> i think they more wanted to highlight a lot of the progress instead ofaking showing there is still so much people,d like, the poor it is not like they were avoiding them, but they did not want that view of the african-american culture to be
broadcasted and taken advantage of by the media i think. >> there is a debate. on one hand they want to highlight the damage and pathology. on the other, it looks bad. those opposed to racial change are very effective at using that damaged imagery to say you are right, there is a culture poverty and it is self-perpetuating said there is nothing we can do about it. it is not our fault. it is their culture. exactly. aid to families with dependent allowed children to provide for their children. the grants were below the poverty line everywhere. re all sorts of restrictions. these are racially applied as
well. men in the house or substitute father rules. the midnight raid, social workers would come in the middle of the night and search your closets to see if they found evidence of a male presence. if you had a male in your house, he was assumed to be a substitute father and you were not eligible for aid. they were susceptible to saying you are a neglectful parent and we will take your children away from you. employable mother, get out and pick cotton. of course, there are african-american women seen by the power structure as laborers. the mother role is incidental. residency requirements, coercive sterilization, pressure if you want to get welfare benefits, you have to have your tubes tied and poor treatment by caseworkers. these were the conditions that
poor single mothers faced. in the 1950's, they began to organize. this was kind of unprecedented. the most vulnerable population, poor single mothers, mostly minority, are organizing to assert a right to live, that nobody should starve essentially. tillman was a woman who migrated from arkansas to los angeles. she lived in watts. she had worked as a diss watcher and all sorts of physically taxing jobs. this is what happened to a lot of women. their jobs are physically taxing. she got crippling arthritis and could not work in those jobs anymore. she had five kids and applied for aid to families with dependent children. through involvement with community action, she started talking to other women in her public housing project and they started to organize.
man, george wiley, called a conference. he got folks from all over the country to come together. they formed a national rights organization. plus civil rights movement together. 85% of the members were african-american women. they did protest marches, individual advocacy for other women. they got a lot of people on the rolls. that is part of why the rolls increased. more people are getting on the rolls because they are being politically pressured. pushing states to fark a food stamp program or medical screening program. they wanted an adequate income. they wanted a guaranteed income. they wanted training for jobs
they could do and work their way out of poverty. they wanted child care to help them do it. that they arerted mothers and their mothering had middle-classike women's mothering is seen as valuable culturally if not financially. one activist put it smartly. if government was smart, it would start calling afdc day and night care and say the welfare crisis had been solved because women were put to work raising their children. this welfare rights movement had some success. i am fast forwarding to 1977. it had success for a short time. but never established legally a right to live. we don't have poverty as a
suspect class under the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment. there is no right to live. and the kind of negative culture of poverty rhetoric raises this notion of an underclass, a pathological underclass by the late 1970's and 1980's. we will get there. running out of time. jr., decided king, the southern christian leadership conference should wage a poor people's campaign. his vision was bringing masses of poor people to washington to commit civil disobedience, like try to disrupt the workings of government to demand a right to live. a guaranteed income, job creation, investment in cities, those kinds of things. you can see that in the poster. he was assassinated during the planning of this. sclc continued to plan this.
this is when he is talking to reporters. the reporter says it does not sound like you're doing civil rights anymore. he is taking the same moral authority gave to the civil rights struggle in trying to expand that struggle. then he says you are not doing civil rights. he smiled and said you can say i am in human rights, so a broadening of the struggle. brought nine different
caravans of poor people from all over the country to washington. this is the mule train from mississippi. i actually had a real train. other folks -- they actually had a mule train. other folks came by bus. a six-month encampment in washington. s had a camp exchangen interracial with music from different cultures fostering that. they would go and lobby. their demandsss and have demonstrations and protests, etc.. the press was largely disapproving of this. the press contrasted this to the 1963ty three march --
march on washington which they said was wonderful. this was not so wonderful. why would there be that difference? did i see a hand? >> the march on washington had the moral thing to it. her king was giving a speech, the height of the civil rights movement. not to say the moral issues are not real, but these are economic issues, political issues, massive movement that could change the status quo. it could easily be looked upon more negatively. i don't know. just a whole different thing. >> more radical? >> much more radical i think. >> the march on washington in 1963 ends up being focused on
pushing the passage of the civil rights bill. it focuses on discrimination in the south. it is a regional problem. the answer is federal legislation to outlaw discrimination. here it is a challenge to capitalism. we need a massive redistribution of economic power says king. it is a national problem, and economic problem. 1963arch on washington of could be interpreted within a narrow understanding of the civil rights movement as a racial liberalism, liberal consensus. this clearly could not. this is challenging all those notions of class politics, redistribution. rose. was challenging so many aspects of the government.
misconstrue each thing. if they did not understand it, they could easily be swayed by the media giving the wrong information and not the full picture. >> they did focus a lot on problems. it was like a handful of problems they were all striving for. it was kind of a lot of challenge to the government. they saw it as a threat. >> polls showed the majority opposed this movement. as king said, it is easier to integrate lunch counters than eradicate slums. it did not cost anything to integrate lunch counters. now we are talking about something that will cost billions of dollars. we don't have time to look more carefully at the black power perspective. but i want to point you to their
notion of the ghetto as a colony . in this chapter, they explicitly claim integration is not a legitimate goal because it is unfeasible and suggests why culture is better than black culture. i will leave you with a quote from stokely carmichael who famously shouted "black power" and got the press attention. he has his creds. he was a series activist. here he is later. . we will explore more this aspect of black power and its perspective on community control
and those things at a later date. thank you for your wonderful participation, and i will see you on monday. eveningus each saturday at 8:00 and midnight for classroom lectures from across the country on different topics and eras of american history. lectures are also available as podcasts. or downloadbsite from itunes. eastern, the4:00 warren commission which investigated the november 22 assessing nation of president innedy released its report november of 1964, if years ago. sunday, we will show